Scientists Spotted an Asteroid That’ Closer to the Sun Than Venus for the First Time

Astronomers have observed an asteroid orbiting the Sun closer than Venus. Finding space rocks around the sun is a bit difficult and is not a common thing.

The Vatira discovery

The appointed 2020 AV2 is the space rock orbiting closer to the sun. The trajectory of this asteroid is a Mercury-Venus-crossing that extends from orbiting the sun once every 151 days along. 2020 AV2 is known as Vatiras, which are are a subclass of Atiras’ asteroids that orbit entirely interior to the orbit of Venus.

They were thought to exist since 2012. However, none were observed to prove whether they are real or not, until now.

The Vatira space rock was discovered by researchers at the Palomar Observatory in southern California on the 4th of January. An alert by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet has put the observers around the globe in motion and to confirm its existence. They also refined the asteroid’s orbit.

The process of discovering Vatira

Due to the asteroid’s course being closer to the sun most of the time, astronomers have a challenging time to find the ones that exist inside our planet’s orbit. To be able to discover such asteroids, the astronomers are able to look for the objects only for small periods of time during twilight.

Besides the difficulty of discovering such asteroids, Vatiras are rare in general. These not very common objects that exist in our Earth’s orbit are in a very small percentage of only 0.22, according to computer simulations.

Experts are not 100 percent sure where the Vatiras start, but they assume they initially lived on the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter before ending up between Mercury and Venus. Scientists also consider how they end up between Mercury and Venus, and it may be due to a series of close clashes with rocky planets. Computer simulations also suggest that these objects don’t usually remain in orbit around the sun for an extended period of time.

These objects continue their trajectory due to the gravitational tugs from the nearby planets. Because of the solar heat, they will most likely end up crashing into a world or maybe grazing the sun.

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